Golda Meir is reported to have said, ‘I can forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but I cannot forgive them for making us kill theirs.’
My variation of this is to say that I can forgive the apparently rational enemies of Israel for criticizing and pillorying the state beyond the bounds of logic and equity, but I cannot forgive them for pushing me further and further to the right in defence of its right to exist. When a man I admire as a film director, Ken Loach, calls for a boycott of Israel, I resent being forced, as I am, to boycott his work. I enjoyed his ‘Hidden Agenda’ despite its one-sided description of the IRA as jolly, good natured bunch of idealists. (Not a knee-capping, bank-robbing, drug-dealing gangster among them.) But I certainly will not be seeing ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley.’
So here’s my reply to those who call for Israel to be ‘disenfranchised’. You wanna play? I’ll play games too! None of the countries which belong to UN has an inalienable right to exist.
The crude hypocrisy of those who deny Israel’s right to exist is not in their criticism of Israel, but in their refusal to apply the same logic elsewhere! ‘Prejudice’ is not realizing that you are blinded by hatred. So what is sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander. Yes, let’s scrap all the Muslim and Christian states too for good measure. They have no more right to exist than Israel. What, because Britain and America backs one family of Bedouin camel thieves in the Arabian Peninsula they have an inalienable right to exist as a state? And because some Normans invade and displace the Saxons they have a right to a state? Or because some rejects from England go over and massacre natives the other side of the Atlantic they have a right to a state?
I genuinely believe nations and nationalism is destructive--I mean the political structures, not cultures (but even cultures and religions become tools of death when they are allied to national entities and power brokers). In principle, I believe that all nations should give up their petty selfish powers and be party to a great international common market and government.
I approve of the Marxist anthem, ‘The Internationale’, when it calls to ‘Unite the Human Race.’ Conflict between nations is both a struggle for supremacy and for markets. The nationalism of the nineteenth century that swept through Europe and then the rest of the world was regressive. It created all these competing states, preoccupied with their boundaries, their honour, their culture, their flags, their armies and weapons and lust for ‘lebensraum’. Whereas Napoleon’s vision of one continent united was the logical ideal that might have prevented terrible wars and the loss of millions of lives, sadly, his personal ambition led him to go too far too quickly and to lose what he had gained. But his idea of giving everyone a stake in a grand international community was a brilliant idea. He was the first to enfranchise the Jews. Europe was not ready for it and regressed into the petty nationalism (most states reintroduced anti! -Jewish legislation) that led to two World Wars. Similarly, the great ideals of International Brotherhood that Marx preached were destroyed and made a mockery of by self serving lunatics like Lenin and Stalin.
What’s more, current nation-states often repress minorities and are imposed arbitrarily and unfairly. That is why Basques, Catalans, Welsh, Scots to name the most obvious all campaign against these unfair nationalist impositions upon them.
I know full well that no one is going to give up their state or their power. On the contrary, we are busy creating new states and divisions wherever we look. Besides, the pathetic attempts at world government at the UN or the EU have only produced corrupt bureaucracies, guided by self-interest and material gain, divided by an incompetent gaggle of pathetic and usually corrupt ‘leaders’. Humans evolve very, very slowly. Sadly, attempts at achieving change through Communism, that distortion of Marxism, have failed disastrously precisely because humans inevitably corrupt ideals in the pursuit of material and selfish goals. Ironically China may (and I stress the word ‘may’ because it is still far too early to know) actually prove that a Marxist-based form of government is more successful than current petty nationalisms. Not that you and I would choose to liver there just yet.
But otherwise we humans seem prepared to destroy our universe through the abuse of our ecological system. Most powers do not seem to care a jot about destroying our natural resources—to hell with the consequences, so long as they can go on making more money. The world is mad, and we are slowly heading to disaster, and the oil-crazy rulers of the world claim that nothing’s going on--even though we ourselves are actually experiencing changes in our climate year by year.
European democracy has shown itself congenitally incapable of defending itself (and don’t give me the war against the Nazis because democracies were only hauled reluctantly screaming to battle when their own interests were threatened). The current crisis is of course the fact that in their desperate need for cheap labour they invited into their democracies those who seeks to overthrow the very nature of democracy and the delicate balance between State and Religion. Developing a democratic form of government just about works in situations where enough citizens care about it and its values. Sadly it seems 50% of Europeans don’t even bother enough to vote when given the freedom. If you then add to the mix those who positively want to undermine democracy you have a recipe for disaster of the magnitude of Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Iran where the majority clearly want a theocratic illiberal autocracy. It is only where autocrats keep the lid on demo! cracy that secularism and some degree of freedom survives. Not as very pretty thought. And the only exception to all this in the Middle East is Israel of course.
The conclusion is that democracy is a failed system as a formula for most countries. I agree we have no clear alternative but that doesn’t mean its failings should not be recognized and nationalism is one of the major culprits. So if you want to dismantle Israel my friends, be consistent and demand the dismantling of all the rest
Tony Blair seems to be the only current leader in power in Europe with the ability to see the danger and with the guts to try to do something about it and to ignore the siren call from mullahs, unemployed radicals and beauty queens that if Britain changes its policies and stops supporting Israel, everything will be fine in the garden. Blair has the strength to stand up to those pathetic dolts who seem to believe that if we lick the backsides of the enemies of our values and support their mewling complaints that it’s all everyone else’s fault, we will be allowed to live in peace. And look how he is excoriated within his own party.
Over two years ago I wrote it was time to get out. The French Jews are seeing it. They are ubiquitous now in Israel buying up all the property they can lay their hands on. As far as Britain is concerned, what’s the betting George Galloway gets welcomed back by the Labour Party the way Livingstone was? Churchill will be turning in his grave. Frankly, give me a land of my own, embattled as it is, with rockets in Lebanon and Gaza, rather than a state of appeasement, with extremists of different colours and creeds in its universities and its media, Ken Livingstone as a mayor and Galloway as a member of Parliament, any day of the week!
Let the left wing hypocrites declare that Israel should be dismantled. Let Ken Loach have his boycott. Before they know what hit them they’ll be banned from making films and be sitting in jail for fornication.
Visit Rabbi Jeremy Rosen on the web: www.JeremyRosen.com